Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We love our vets - today's surgery

Every once in awhile a calf gets a hernia.  This nice two-month old heifer had a pretty prominent one in her belly button, which is called an umbilical hernia. (Tonight our dads were talking about how they've fixed small hernias in the past - they have taped or wrapped the calf around the entire body in hopes that the hole will close.)  In this case, since it was big, we called on our veterinarians.

You can see her hernia pushing out near the center of her body.

Full disclosure - I LOVE watching the vets do surgeries.  I had even more interest in this one because a few years ago, I also had umbilical hernia surgery!  

Our longtime vet Russ Seifferlein was assisting our newer vet Lindsey Sanchez.  Earlier in the day she had been to float (file) a horse's teeth and helped a family say goodbye to their cat.  Seriously, vets have such interesting days!

This was Lindsey's first ever hernia surgery.  I'm sure she was super glad that she had four people watching and one taking pictures.  (Just kidding - she did a great job.) 

First, they sedated the heifer.  Then, they shaved and cleaned the surgical area with alcohol for a long time.

Note their cute headlamps.
They covered the rest of her body and gave her anesthesia.  If you didn't see her hernia before, you can see it now!

Lindsey made the incision with Russ looking on.  She cut around the circle of the hole, making sure to cut only skin and not the intestinal wall.

It's amazing how tough skin really is.  I mean, they are known for leather and all.

After she'd cut all she needed to, she made sure the intestines were pushed back in the body and moved to sew her all back together.  (This part actually made my belly button hurt a little.)

She needed to sew up the hole, and then she needed to sew the skin. Russ also referred to the 'belt and suspenders' method, where she sewed it in two places (together and to the side) to make sure the repair didn't fail.  

Looks just like any surgery in a hospital, minus the straw.  But it's clean straw!

Like for most events on the farm, our son got an up close view.

Kindergarten in the morning, vet school in the p.m.

Then, she was finished!  First hernia surgery successful!  She proudly displayed the repaired calf.

We'll keep her in this pen by herself for a week or so to make sure that no other calves accidentally injure her.  She'll be herself in no time, but with a stronger abdominal wall!

Thank you, Russ and Lindsey, for the educational day and great work.  As always, we hope never to see you on our farm again! 

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